STILL MISSING: Authorities hunt for new clues in 6-year-old’s disappearance
BREMERTON — After four days of searching, there is still no sign of 6-year-old Jenise Wright.
But officials and area residents refuse to give up hope.
“The number one focus is bringing Jenise home,” Kitsap County Sheriff’ Deputy Scott Wilson said Thursday morning at a press conference.
Little new information was available Thursday. Authorities have still closed off the road to Steele Creek — but won’t say why — and are pouring through hundreds of tips coming into the tipline, 1-800-Call-FBI.
“The public has been very helpful about all the tips coming in,” Wilson said.
The FBI is bringing in specialized dogs to search through the woods around Jenise’s home. Police asked East Bremerton residents to check their own yards and places on their property where the girl could be hiding.
Jenise was last seen Saturday night in her home, which is in the Steele Creek mobile home park in East Bremerton.
Jenise’s parents have said they would allow Jenise to walk through the neighborhood on her own and thought she was out playing Sunday morning. When she didn’t return home Sunday night, the parents called police.
In the briefing Wednesday afternoon, Wilson said officers have now expanded the search outside the limits of the mobile home park.
“We have finished with the deep canvass inside the park,” he said Wednesday. “We have received nothing but exceptional cooperation from residents inside the park. As a matter of fact … not a single warrant had to be obtained to gain consent, to gain authority, to go inside” all of the homes to search for Jenise.
The FBI said electronic billboards with Jenise’s information would be put up in Washington state and Oregon.
Mary Pelnar, 14, was one of the last people to see Jenise. She said they were together Saturday night.
“I was hanging out with her all day Friday and Saturday and I woke up and didn’t see her at all Sunday,” Mary said.
Melanie Davis, an older sister of Jenise, said, “It’s really tough … to be put in a situation like … to have something like this happen to our family. It’s heartbreaking. You are trying to hope for the best and pray for the best that she makes it home safe and that she comes home to us.
“Every minute, every hour, it kills me not knowing anything. It’s something that you try not to think about … (but) it’s still on your mind.”
Sheriff’s deputies were in the process Wednesday of contacting all of the area’s registered sex offenders, interviewing them to determine where they were at the time of the disappearance.
Wilson said this task remained the most difficult, since some sex offenders in Kitsap County were transients.
Jenise is described as being about 3 feet tall and 45 pounds with dark hair. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact police or 1-800-Call-FBI.